February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Review of the Day: Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Julián Is a Mermaid By Jessica Love Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9045-8 Ages 4 and up On shelves May 22nd When you walk into another person’s home, there’s always a distinct smell to the place. Homes absorb the lives of their occupants, and the end result is as much an olfactory experience a visual one. […]

Previous Winners, Part Two

And here is part two of our previous winners posts! Again, we’re looking at past winners, honorees, and generally lauded authors who have a new book out this year, and again we’re wondering if lighting can strike twice (or, if you’re Marcus Sedgwick, four times). Genuine Fraud, E. Lockhart Delacorte, September 2017 Reviewed from ARC; 5 […]

Landscape with Invisible Hand

Landscape with Invisible Hand, M.T. Anderson Candlewick, September 2017 Reviewed from ARC; five stars It’s not fun to lose, and as readers, we don’t usually take pleasure in witnessing our protagonists suffer and fail at every challenge they face. Yet we also know that failure, yes failure, can be highly instructive and valuable. In Landscape with Invisible […]

Retold Epics, Part One

Today is part one of retold epics. We will hear more, soon, from Karyn, and it absolutely will be epic. Today is my day to talk about lovely knights and raging ladies, about feats of strength, about reclaiming honor.  Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson and Andrea Offerman Candlewick, March 2017 Reviewed […]

Review of the Day: Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, ill. Meilo So

Bronze and Sunflower By Cao Wenxuan Illustrated by Meilo So Translated by Helen Wang Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8816-5 On shelves now It’s odd. Parents these days. I meet so many of them that believe that to live in a globalized society it is imperative for their children to learn another language. That’s not the […]

Review of the Day: Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, ill. Meilo So

Bronze and Sunflower By Cao Wenxuan Illustrated by Meilo So Translated by Helen Wang Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8816-5 On shelves now It’s odd. Parents these days. I meet so many of them that believe that to live in a globalized society it is imperative for their children to learn another language. That’s not the […]

Review: Snow White

I’ve always had a soft spot for retold or fractured fairy tales. I marvel at the ingenuity of an author to take an existing story, keep it recognizable, and give it a unique spin. There’s a long history of fractured fairy tales from Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted to Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Just Ella. And […]

Review of the Day: Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz, ill. Brian Floca

Princess Cora and the Crocodile By Laura Amy Schlitz Illustrated by Brian Floca Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-4822-0 Early Chapter Book On shelves March 28th What if. What if Good Night Moon had been illustrated by someone other than Clement Hurd? What if. What if Charlotte’s Web had had an artist who wasn’t Garth Williams? […]

Last Licks

There are so many great books, and every year we’re reading until the 11th hour to get in as many as possible. This year, between last minute reads and beloved books that didn’t seem like true contenders but deserve a shout-out, we find ourselves down to the final days before the YMAs with quite a […]

The Thin Line

I’m going to cheat a little today, and deviate from our attempts to review in roughly calendar order. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about middle grade and YA and all ages and the fine line between the Newbery and the Printz. We’ve had books on all ends snag awards, yes, but […]

Golden Boys

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett Candlewick, April 2016 Reviewed from an ARC Oh, friends, I may not be the person to write this review — not least because I haven’t technically finished reading this quite short book. I mean, I’ve read most of it, and what I’ve missed, I have skimmed through as I was […]

Review of the Day: Snow White by Matt Phelan

Snow White: A Graphic Novel By Matt Phelan Candlewick Press $19.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-7233-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves now I’d have said it couldn’t be done. The Snow White fairytale has been told and retold and overdone to death until there’s not much left to do but forget about it entirely. Not that every graphic novel […]

Review of the Day: Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

Juana and Lucas By Juana Medina Candlewick Press $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-7636-7208-9 Ages 6-9 On shelves now Windows. Mirrors. Mirrors. Windows. Windowy mirrors. Mirrory windows. Windows. Mirrors. Sliding doors! Mirrors. Windows. In the world of 21st century children’s literature, diversity should be the name of the game. We want books for our children that reflect the […]

Review of the Day: Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

Juana and Lucas By Juana Medina Candlewick Press $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-7636-7208-9 Ages 6-9 On shelves now Windows. Mirrors. Mirrors. Windows. Windowy mirrors. Mirrory windows. Windows. Mirrors. Sliding doors! Mirrors. Windows. In the world of 21st century children’s literature, diversity should be the name of the game. We want books for our children that reflect the […]

Burn Baby Burn

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina Candlewick, March 2016 Reviewed from an ARC Can I rave for a minute? What a title! And what a cover, too. Medina manages to blend a lot of elements beautifully and smoothly. With four stars and a place on the NBA longlist, this read has a lot going for […]

Review of the Day: Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

Cloud and Wallfish By Anne Nesbet Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8803-5 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Historical fiction is boring. Right? That’s the common wisdom on the matter, certainly. Take two characters (interesting), give them a problem (interesting), and set them in the past (BOOOOOORING!). And to be fair, there are a LOT of dull-as-dishwater […]

Review of the Day: Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

Cloud and Wallfish By Anne Nesbet Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8803-5 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Historical fiction is boring. Right? That’s the common wisdom on the matter, certainly. Take two characters (interesting), give them a problem (interesting), and set them in the past (BOOOOOORING!). And to be fair, there are a LOT of dull-as-dishwater […]

Review of the Day: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Raymie Nightingale By Kate DiCamillo Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8117-3 Ages 9-12 On shelves now My relationship to Kate DiCamillo’s books is one built entirely on meaning. Which is to say, the less emotional and meaningful they are, the better I like ‘em. Spaghetti loving horses and girls that live in tree houses? Right up […]

Sizzling Seventies: Meg Medina on “Burn Baby Burn”

Meg Medina tackles burgeoning feminism, first love, disco music, and family violence in her stellar Burn Baby Burn. SLJ chats with the award-winning author.

Review of the Day: Jazz Day by Roxane Orgill

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph By Roxane Orgill Illustrated by Francis Vallejo Candlewick Press $18.99 ISBN: 9780763669546 Ages 9-12 On shelves March 8th Some books for kids have a hard road ahead of them. Here’s a secret. If you want a book to sell just oodles and oodles of copies to the […]